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Council Chamber

Council meeting summary - September 7, 2020

News Article Date: 
Friday, 11 September 2020

For more information and appendices for each item, view the Council Meeting Agenda.

The below summary is unconfirmed until the Minutes of the September 7 Meeting are accepted by Council.

1. Opening Prayer & Original Custodians Statement

2. Apologies

None.

3. Confirmation of Minutes

Council confirmed the Minutes of the Special Meeting of Council held on 13 July 2020, the Ordinary Meeting of Council held on 3 August 2020 and the Additional Council Meeting held on 24 August 2020. (7-0)

4. Declaration by Councillors and Officers of any Conflict of Interest in any Item on the Agenda

Cr Neoh Declared a Conflict of Interest in Item 5.11 and Item 5.20.

5.1 Proposed Changes to Council Meeting Dates for November 2020

Proposed changes to Annual Council Meeting and previously adopted Scheduled Council Meeting to be held on 23 November 2020.

Council supported the following recommendations (7-0):

1. That the Annual Council Meeting scheduled for 9 November 2020 be rescheduled to 23 November 2020.

2. That the previously adopted Scheduled Council meeting to be held on 23 November 2020 be rescheduled to 7 December 2020.

3. That the rescheduled dates of meetings be advertised accordingly.

5.2 Chief Executive Officer Employment Matters Policy

The current Chief Executive Employment Matters (Performance & Remuneration) Policy and Terms of Reference for the Chief Executive Employment Matters Committee (CEEMAC) were due for review in September 2019.

With the recruitment of a new CEO imminent it is timely to complete the reviews.

The reviews have had regard for the Policy requirements set out in the new Local Government Act 2020 (LGA 2020).

The policy has been developed to assist the Council in fulfilling its responsibilities associated with the CEO’s employment and performance matters.

The Policy proposes that the Council continue with the engagement of CEEMAC to assist in meeting these responsibilities.

Council supported the following recommendations (7-0):

1. That the Chief Executive Officer Employment and Remuneration Policy and the Terms of Reference for Chief Executive Officer Employment Matters Advisory Committee (CEEMAC) be approved.

2. That the appointment of an independent Chair of the Chief Executive Officer Employment Matters Advisory Committee (CEEMAC) be deferred until after the 2020 General Election.

5.3 Activities and Initiatives 2019-2020: April – June (Quarter 4)

This report reflects on the progress and achievements of a broad range of Actions and Initiatives set out originally in the Council Plan and Budget, for the financial year 2019 –2020.

The Council has been able to achieve the continuation of the majority of its services to the community despite the impacts of Covid-19 and has additionally altered its program focus where appropriate to respond to supporting the community through our program of works.

Council continues to deliver services that respond to the constraints by other levels of government to keep us safe. This has in many instances meant a rethink of how we provide our services. Council has adapted its service delivery methods and has continued to plan for a post COVID future for this community.

Council supported the following recommendation (7-0):

That the Activities & Initiatives 2019-2020 April – June Quarter 4, be received.

5.4 Financial Statements and Performance Statement 2019-20

This report seeks the endorsement of Council to approve in principle Council’s Annual Financial Statements and Annual Performance Statement.

It further seeks to nominate two Councillors to have the authority to sign the annual accounts and performance statement on behalf of Council, once final sign off has been received from the Victorian Auditor General’s Office (VAGO).

This authorization will enable Council to meet its statutory obligations for the lodgment of its Annual Statements (as part of the Annual Report) to the Minister by 30 September 2020. The Annual report which includes the Financial and Performance Statements will return to Council for consideration at a future Council Meeting.

Council supported the following recommendations (7-0):

1. That Council, pursuant to Section 132(2) of the Local Government Act 1989 (“the Act”) approve in principle the 2019-2020 financial statements contained within the draft annual report (refer Attachment 1) which have been subject to external audit by the Auditor- General’s agent, with the outcomes also having been reviewed by Warrnambool Councils Audit & Risk Committee.

2. That Council, pursuant to Section 132(2) of the Act, approve in principle the 2019-2020 Performance Statement contained in the draft annual report (refer Attachment 1) which has been subject to external audit by the Auditor-General’s agent, with the outcomes also having been reviewed by Warrnambool Councils Audit & Risk Committee.

3. That Councillor Michael Neoh and Councillor Sue Cassidy be authorised to certify the 2019-2020 financial statements pursuant to Section 132(5) of the Act, after any changes recommended by the review of audit from the Victorian Auditor General have been made.

4. That Councillor Michael Neoh and Councillor Sue Cassidy be authorised to certify the 2019-2020 performance statement pursuant to Section 132(5) of the Act, after any changes by the review of audit from the Victorian Auditor General have been made.

5. That the Council pursuant to Section 134(b) of the Local Government Act put out for public advertisement, its intention to consider the Annual Report at a future Council Meeting.

5.5 Tender 2020070: ICT Server and Storage Refresh

Almost all of Council’s business activities are underpinned by the use of computers. To support this, Council runs a data centre consisting of a number of servers with attached disc storage and corresponding backup and communications equipment. This equipment is end of life and must be replaced.

Council leases IT equipment. Council has an existing master lease agreement. This equipment will be leased over five years. There is an existing budget allocation for this expense. Total expenditure will be less than budget.

The available data centre options were researched regarding functionality and anticipated cost. A specification was developed and advertised.

10 conforming and 1 nonconforming tenders were received and have been evaluated.

Council supported the following recommendation (7-0):

That Council delegate approval to the Chief Executive Officer to enter into contract 2020070

ICT Server & Storage Refresh with eResources at a cost of $439,256.40 including GST for

the supply and installation of server, storage and backup equipment.

5.6 Declare Land Surplus to Needs at 127-135 Queens Road

Council was presented a report at its August 3rd 2020 meeting outlining a proposal for a land transfer by private treaty and a recommendation to procced with the statutory process of seeking public submissions with regard to its intent to declare the land surplus to need.

Council has been briefed on a proposed land swap between Council and Julie Dwyer comprising part land areas at 127-135 Queens Road and 123 Queens Road Council would cede 1563m2 of land but is seeking in exchange 3250 m2 of land adjacent to the Merri river front and contiguous with the Queens Road reserve.

Council is being asked to allow the acting CEO to enter into a memorandum of understanding for an exchange of land subject to agreement of final conditions and the parties meeting all statutory requirements before an exchange were to be finalised

Any future exchange does not fetter Councils rights to act under any other legislation

As the exchange is envisaged to be one completed under private treaty the processes involved continue to be overseen by Councils internal audit firm offering probity oversight of the processes undertaken.

Council supported the following recommendations (7-0):

1. That Council declare 1563m2 of Council open space reserve/road reserve land situated at 127-135 Queens Road, Warrnambool as surplus to needs.

2. That Council approve the Acting Chief Executive Officer to enter into a memorandum of understanding with the proponents, the Dwyer’s, to negotiate conditions with a view to proceeding to an exchange of land as indicated in attachment (1) 127-135 Queens Road and 123 Queens Road, Warrnambool. Council would cede 1563m2 of land but in exchange would receive 3250 m2 of land adjacent to the Merri river front and contiguous with the Queens Road reserve, any exchange would be subject to the non-fettering of any statutory rights held by Council.

5.7 Community Small Infrastructure Fund

Council has an opportunity to review and adopt new projects brought to their attention by the community under the Community Small Infrastructure Fund on a quarterly basis.

Officers compile a list of projects provided from initiatives within the Community that are assessed as providing community benefit under the programs established criteria. Councillors are presented the projects for consideration during a Councillor briefing.

For a project to proceed to implementation it must be considered and decided upon at a Council meeting

The balance of the Community Small Infrastructure Fund after the allocation to previously approved projects is approximately $894,000. This sum represents a total prior to the consideration of these projects.

Council supported the following recommendations (7-0)

1. That Council resolve to allocate $50,000 from the Community Small Infrastructure Fund for the lighting and safety improvements around the Heatherlie House precinct.

2. That Council resolve to allocate $20,000 from the Community Small Infrastructure Fund for improvement works at the Japanese Gardens.

3. That Council include the proposed basketball court in the foreshore precinct plan and continue discussions with DELWP around planning permissions.

5.8 Debt Management Policy

Council has recently conducted an internal audit on the Accounts Receivable process.

The internal audit came up with a number of recommendations including the creation of additional management reporting and audit checks. These recommendations have been incorporated into the revised draft Debt Management Procedure.

Due to the recent events surrounding COVID19 and the financial impact to ratepayers, it was prudent to consolidate Councils financial hardship provisions into the one policy.

The Victorian Ombudsman is doing a statewide review of the application of hardship provisions and the processes Councils undertake in debt management.

Council has sound practices, that are well positioned and implemented.

Council supported the following recommendation (7-0):

That Council adopts the Debt Management policy.

5.9 Acknowledgement of CFA volunteers

The Country Fire Authority comprises more than 59,000 volunteers and 1,800 career firefighters working at 1,220 brigades across Victoria.

Volunteer firefighting in Victoria has its origins in the 1850s and Warrnambool has been fortunate to have been served by an organised fire brigade since 1863.

Each year the Country Fire Authority across Victoria responds to thousands of incidents and here in Warrnambool firefighters respond to more than 600 calls each year.

While the CFA is here to keep our city and its 35,000 people safe, the reality is that as a popular visitor destination, the CFA is also helping to protect many thousands of people who choose to holiday in Warrnambool.

Too often we get devastating reminders of how vital firefighters are - the St Patrick’s Day fires of 2018 were one such reminder.

Volunteering as a firefighter is a generous, selfless act which requires a significant commitment of time and, in the event of a fire, potentially placing oneself at considerable risk.

Council supported the following recommendations (7-0):

That Council acknowledges and thanks the Country Fire Authority volunteers who play a vital role at the Warrnambool Fire Brigade in helping to keep the community safe in emergency situations, including fires.

5.10 FOGO Update

800 tonnes of food waste has been diverted from landfill in 2019 / 2020 (using the last 8 years of landfill data as the baseline - refer Attachment 1.

FOGO contamination rates are below 1%.

The community have embraced the service. FOGO presentation rates are on average 62%.

5707 tonnes of FOGO material have been collected in 2019 / 2020.

Kitchen caddies and compostable liners have proven an effective tool in capturing food waste.

The FOGO collection contractor continues to work proactively to address contamination.

Sustainability Victoria and the Victorian Government continue work to develop markets for compost and soil conditioner.

Next steps include looking at the benefits of a weekly FOGO service and the potential for a weekly FOGO collection trial in Winter 2021.

Council supported the following recommendation (7-0):

That the FOGO update report be received.

5.11 Contract – 2020067 – Construction – Reid Oval Redevelopment

The intent of this contract is to engage the services of suitably qualified and experienced construction contractor for the redevelopment of Reid Oval.

The overall budget for this project is $10.72 million.

6 tender submissions were received and considered by the Tender Assessment Panel

The Tender Assessment Panel has recommended the contract be awarded to Fairbrother Pty Ltd.

An external Probity Auditor provided oversight to the tender evaluation and procurement process, with no issues or concerns raised. The Probity Auditor Report is attached to this report for information.

Council supported the following recommendations (6-0):

That Council:

1. Accept the tender submission from Fairbrother Pty Ltd for Tender No. 2020067 –Construction – Reid Oval Redevelopment for the amount of $8,115,743.90 inclusive of GST ($7,377,949.00 excluding GST).

2. Authorise the Acting CEO to sign and seal the contract documents.

5.12 Port Safer Launching Project Investment Logic Map

Contract 2019023 Warrnambool Harbour Safer Launching Breakwater Stabilisation was awarded at Council Meeting held on 2 September 2019.

The contract initiation meeting has been undertaken and ongoing contract meetings are scheduled to be held regularly.

The appointed Consultant and Councils Project Working Group meet regularly and continue to hold meetings. Meetings with the Project Control Group remain ongoing via Zoom meetings. The Harbour Reference Groups meetings have also been altered to Zoom meetings until face to face meetings can resume. Communications with this group will also be conducted through written report, emails and via phone.

Feedback has been received to determine the optimum community and user level of scope for Separable Portion 1 - Safer launching boat ramp upgrade.

In conjunction with key stakeholders the Investment Logic Mapping (ILM) process has been undertaken that aims to support the upcoming Business Case. Refer Attachment 1.

The Business Case forms the basis for potential funding application that we are preparing for opportunities as they become available. The next funding opportunity is anticipated to become available in October 2020.

Separable Portions 2 Breakwater Stabilisation and 3 Harbour Concept Design are heavily reliant on the ILM process and outcome.

Council supported the following recommendations (7-0):

That Council:

1. Adopt the Investment Logic Map.

2. Provides support to progress the project and complete the business case.

3. Provides support to enable funding to be pursued.

5.13 Port of Warrnambool Dredging Options Assessment

On behalf of the State Government of Victoria, Warrnambool City Council (Council) has engaged consultants Water Technology Pty Ltd to undertake a background study and site investigation, to produce a new long term dredging management plan and obtain the relevant permits for configuration dredging, including preparation of tender documentation and attain the relevant permits for a new Harbour dredging management plan.

A draft options assessment has been developed for the long-term dredging management plan for the Port of Warrnambool - refer Attachment 1.

The draft assessment has been shared with Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) and Department of Transport (DoT) seeking comment.

DoT have provided initial comments however are yet to provide an indication of preference but have noted throughout they will be heavily influenced by option which delivers the required outcomes and demonstrates value for money.

DELWP have also provided initial comments however are yet to provide an indication of preference but have noted throughout they will be heavily influenced by effects of environmental impact.

Council supported the following recommendations (6-0):

That Council:

1. Endorses the draft Port of Warrnambool Dredging Options Assessment prepared by Water Tech associated.

2. Endorses the progression of the dredging plan project, which includes undertaking necessary detailed design for the preferred dredge spoil disposal location for Option 4 as detailed within the draft Port of Warrnambool Dredging Options Assessment.

3. Endorses officers to pursue funding applications to implement dredging activities associated with the Port Precinct.

5.14 Street Tree Planting and Management Policy and Guidelines Review

The existing Street Tree Planting and Management Policy & Guidelines were adopted by Council on 1 May 2017 and due for review 1 May 2020.

Council has responsibility for the planning, establishment, care and removal of all street trees located within the City’s streetscapes.

These documents provide the framework for the consistent management of street trees throughout the municipality.

These documents cover: species selection, community consultation, preservation and also triggers for tree removal.

Council supported the following recommendations (7-0):

That Council:

1. Agrees to advertise the revised Street Tree Planting and Management Policy & Guidelines for public comment for a period of not less than 28 days.

2. Receives a future report to adopt the Policy & Guidelines which summarises any submissions and amendments made to the document through the consultation process.

5.15 Nature Strip Landscaping Policy and Guidelines Review

The existing Nature Strip Landscaping Policy & Guidelines were adopted by Council on 1 May 2017 and due for review 1 May 2020.

These documents provide the framework for the consistent management of nature strip landscaping throughout the municipality.

Council supported the following recommendations (7-0):

That Council:
1. Agrees to advertise the revised Nature Strip Landscaping Policy & Guidelines for public comment for a period of not less than 28 days.

2. Receives a future report to adopt the Policy & Guidelines which summarises any submissions and amendment made to the document as a result of the consultation process.

5.16 Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism Ltd

In 2013 Warrnambool City Council (‘Council’) supported the establishment of the Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism Board (GORRTB). GORRTB was established to lead the development, marketing, advocacy and management of tourism for the Great Ocean Road region. It takes in the geographical area from Torquay to the South Australian border, including the local government areas of Surf Coast, Colac Otway, Corangamite, Warrnambool, Moyne, and Glenelg.

Regional Tourism Boards are now in place across other regions of Victoria – Grampians, Murray, Alpine and High Country, Gippsland, and Daylesford-Macedon.

Prior to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Great Ocean Road region attracted in excess of 6 million visitors per annum comprising 5.2 million Domestic visitors and 959,000 International visitors. Pre COID-19, Visitor growth was forecast to track ahead of projection with visitation and visitors nights forecast to increase by a third by 2027.

The impacts of COVID-19 have been devastating for the region’s tourism industry. The pandemic has required GORRT to refocus its resources to increase emphasis on industry communication, and an engagement program based on lessons learned through the Wye- Jamieson fires in 2015. The engagement program has involved regular communication, a resources hub, and tools and advice to support businesses navigating the changing restrictions. A training hub with online training modules has been developed. These resources have had significant traction with visitation to the website from April 1- Jul 2 reaching almost 44,000 page views from 12,767 unique users.

In 2020/21 Marketing will be a major focus of GORRT’s efforts to support industry. Recovery marketing efforts will continue to support the region’s strategic objective of increasing length of stay, yield and dispersal. A multi-pronged campaign approach is being adopted to ensure an agile response to what is happening in the market place. The initial focus on Visiting Friends Relative (VFR) market is designed to engage with industry & community and seek their support and understanding of the value of tourism and its importance to the sustainability of the community. A number of destination campaigns have been put on hold as we await restrictions to ease.

The GORRT Strategic Plan 2019-2022 (attached) details key achievements over the past five years, visitation data and the key strategic priorities to be implemented over the next three years.

The existing one year Funding Agreement between GORRT Ltd and Council ended 30 June 2020. Council’s contribution in the 2019/20 financial year was $149,555, a significant reduction on the previous agreement at $180,000 per annum.

GORRTB are seeking Council’s commitment to a further one year funding commitment of $149,555 (excl GST).

Council supported the following Recommendation (7-0):

That Council renew its financial support for Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism Limited with a contribution of $149,555 (excl GST) in the 2020/21 Financial Year.

5.17 Middle Island Project Review and Future Direction

The Middle Island Project commenced in 2006 as a trial and from 2010 has continued as a ‘regular’ Council operational activity.

A review of the Middle Island Project has been undertaken and a range of key issues have been identified.

In considering the review findings and the options for the future of the Project a range of options have been investigated to provide adequate information to enable an informed decision to be made about the Project’s future.

The Conservation Management Model is the recommended future direction along with revised operating arrangements to address the deficiencies identified in the review.

The revised operating arrangements include the appointment of an Advisory Group/Committee, clarification of the operating model and roles and responsibilities for dog handling.

Council supported the following Recommendations (7-0):

That Council:

1. Endorse Management Option 1 for a two-year period with Annual Project Review Reporting to Council.

2. Develop an Advisory Group/Committee and associated Terms of Reference to provide advice to Council on the Middle Island Project.

3. Receive the Middle Island Project 2019-2020 Season Report.

4. Receive the Middle Island Strategic Plan 2020-2025.

5.18 City Growth Strategy Implementation – Green Warrnambool and Warrnambool Events Strategy

The Warrnambool Events Strategy was adopted by Council in 2018. The Green Warrnambool Plan was also adopted by Council in 2018.

This report provides a progress report of both strategies against the identified goals and actions.

Both Strategies have a majority of actions that are either underway or completed and their implementation remains on track.

Council supported the following Recommendation (7-0):

That Council note the progress of the implementation of the Warrnambool Events Strategy and the Green Warrnambool Plan.

5.19 Review of the Environmental Upgrade Agreement Trial

EUAs offer an opportunity for Council to facilitate increased economic, employment and environmental outcomes throughout the City. This is done through stimulating private investment in businesses, reducing operating costs, improving the asset value of commercial building stock and supporting more resource efficient enterprises.

An EUA brings together a non-residential property owner, a financial institution and local government to facilitate building upgrades that improve environmental performance.

To date, one EUA has been implemented in Warrnambool.

The billing platform trial will aim to reduce Council administrative tasks for the deliverance of the program. Extending the trial will provide the opportunity to assess the billing system and the resources required to support this program on an ongoing basis.

Council supported the following Recommendations (7-0):

That Council:

1. Support the extension of the trial program of Environmental Upgrade Agreements for a further two years.

2. Delegate to the Chief Executive, in accordance with Section 181H of the Local Government Act 1989:

a. The power to enter into an Environmental Upgrade Agreement on behalf of Council;

b. The power to declare and levy an environmental upgrade charge.

5.20 2020/21 Community Development Fund

Council received ninety one applications, of which seven were withdrawn prior to being considered by the assessment panel (three from one organisation), eleven eligible were not supported and fifteen were adjusted.

The report recommends $255,428 to be allocated to seventy five eligible local clubs and organisations.

Council supported the following Recommendation (6-0):

1. That Council approve funding under the 2020/21 Community Development Fund to the value of $255,428 to 75 organisations as outlined in this report.

2. That all applicant organisations be advised of the outcome of the assessment process.

5.21 Health and Wellbeing Plan – 2019-2020 Review

For Council to consider the progress on the goals of the Municipal Health and Wellbeing Plan, Warrnambool – A Healthy City 2017-2021.

Council supported the following Recommendation (7-0):

That Council note the findings in the review of the Health and Wellbeing Plan 2017-2021 with this data to be used to inform the next Municipal Health and Wellbeing Plan.

5.22 Council’s Disability Access and Inclusion Policy

Local Government, as a key planner, developer and provider of physical and social infrastructure, is committed to lead by example in ensuring access and inclusion in their local community by people with a disability. This commitment is underpinned by community service responsibilities, and by legislative responsibilities as outlined under the Commonwealth Disability Discrimination Act 1992 and the Victorian Disability Act 2006.

Under the Commonwealth Disability Discrimination Act 1992 it is illegal to directly or indirectly discriminate against a person on the basis of their disability. The Victorian Disability Act 2006 provides a framework to enable people with a disability to more actively participate in the life of the community.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers in 2018, 17.7% of the population self-reported having a permanent disability. This equates to approximately 6,227 current residents of Warrnambool having a disability. The number of people with a disability will increase in the future, as Warrnambool’s population increases and ages.

It is the objective of Council to progressively put in place the necessary steps to ensure the removal of any barriers that restrict the access of any individual to Council-controlled facilities, services, events and information.

The purpose of the Warrnambool City Council Disability Access and Inclusion Policy is to outline Council’s commitment to access and inclusion for residents, employees and visitors that live with a disability.

The policy is intended to assist Council to comply with relevant Commonwealth and State Legislation.

Council supported the following Recommendation (7-0):

That Council adopts the Disability Access and Inclusion Policy 2020-2023.

5.23 Mayoral & Acting Chief Executive Council Activities – Summary Report

Council received the report (7-0).

5.24 Advisory Committee and Reference Group Reports

This report contains the record of two Advisory Committee meetings and four Reference Group Meetings.

  1. Port of Warrnambool-Port Reference Group – 20 July 2020
  2. Warrnambool Livestock Exchange Advisory Committee – 24 July 2020
  3. Port of Warrnambool–Port Reference Group – 27 July 2020
  4. Port of Warrnambool–Port Reference Group - 3 August 2020
  5. Port of Warrnambool-Port Reference Group – 10 August 2020
  6. Health & Wellbeing Advisory Committee – 26 August 2020

Council supported the following recommendation (7-0):

That the records of the Advisory Committees and Reference Groups be received.

5.25 Assembly of Councillors Reports

The purpose of this report is to provide the record of any assembly of Councillors, which has been held since the last Council Meeting, so that it can be recorded in the Minutes of the formal Council Meeting.

The record of the following Assembly of Councillors is enclosed:-

Monday August 17, 2020 – refer Attachment 1

Monday August 24, 2020 – refer Attachment 2

Monday August 31, 2020 – refer Attachment 3

Council received the report (7-0).

6. Public Question Time

7. Close of Meeting

 

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